As soon as Chapter one starts, it jumps straight into dialogue giving me the impression that there was another part before the speech that was taken out. The character speaking is Cassie, who is the main character and the narrator for the story, and my first impression of her was that she was the one in charge of the children in the Logan family, as she was checking on each of them and observing what they were doing especially Little Man her younger brother who the opening line “Little Man, would you come on?
You keep it up and you’re gonna make us late” is directed at. I can tell from Cassie’s actions that she doesn’t like school clothes because she prefers to be free and not confined and that she is used as a direct connection between the reader and the story as she is used to describe what is going on and what is being said in a way that suggests she is telling this story to someone else. The author doesn’t directly describe Cassie because the author is writing as Cassie, and therefore it wouldn’t make sense for Cassie to be describing herself to the readers.
To build up an image of Cassie, the reader ahs to piece together the different facts that are placed in the text, like what Cassie says, sees and does during the first chapter. This gives the reader a chance to take in all the facts, compile them and form there own judgements on her as if all the facts were presented in front of them at the beginning of the chapter it is almost like you were being told exactly about Cassie’s character as the author wants her to be seen, not letting you formulate your own ideas and let your imagination do the rest.
Christopher-John, Cassie’s second youngest brother, is mentioned twice, but only by name with no description given apart from the fact that he was “not too pleased about the clothing or school either”. Later on he is given a short description of his character by Cassie which gives me the impression that he is a polite young man who likes to stay cheerful and in a good mood regardless of the circumstances. I also got the impression that he minded his own business and was quite quiet because the first time he speaks is when T.
J. Avery mentions the burning of the Berry’s, which he appears quite frightened about. Mildred Taylor uses the different method of introducing Christopher-John because she is describing him though Cassie’s eyes and her knowledge of being his sister which gives it a more personal approach than just describing what is on the outside without actually stating what is on the inside because just knowing what a character looks like will not give the reader an insight into his personality or beliefs.
This method provides some variation to the description of characters because if all the characters were introduced the same way it would make the reader bored and make the beginning of the story read as if each description was grouped together and you were supposed to know about each character before anything happens. If that was done, it wouldn’t allow the reader to use his or her imagination to construct a mental image of the characters and this would cause them to become uninterested in what is happening because they would be being told the story and not reading it in the sense that they would not be given freedom of thought.